Edgardo Rodriguez was told his El Borikua seasoning was too Latin. Today it's his best seller.
Spicy Caballero seasonings big ed edgardo rodriguez

How could a person not love Big Ed? The six-foot-one inch, three-hundred pound Puerto Rican entrepreneur behind Spicy Caballero Seasonings is in fact big. He’s also super talented — bringing some seriously good flavor to dishes across the United States. We had a bottle of El Borikua, his top seller, overnighted to us and used it in beans, ground meat, and as a rub on grilled chicken in one week.

We’re now here to tell you that it does what Ed says it does in the video above. It “puts forward the Latin flavor that we all love.”

Standing on the side of a road near an airfield 25 miles outside of Dallas, Texas, Ed stared into the Zoom video and waxed poetic about his mission to create the best Latin flavors (see video above). Born out of his desire to replicate the sabor of his home in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, he started mixing seasonings together in his kitchen when he needed steak seasoning. After dabbling for a bit he brought it to work and explains, “One day, I bring it to work and the people at work were like, man you gotta sell this, you gotta sell this, you gotta sell this.”

Meet Big Ed and hear the story of El Borikua seasoning.

Try Big Ed’s Spicy Caballero Seasonings for 10% Off at Startup Cuba

He created his first blend, appropriately named El Borikua. It’s a mix that can best be described as adobo, sazón and sofrito, blended into a single powder. He sent it to a seasonings company in Alabama and they told him it was too Latin-forward to be used for barbeque. So, he went for it himself and started his own business called Spicy Caballero Seasonings.

spicy caballero seasonings asiarican dust
Coming soon: Asiarican Dust.

“…people at work were like, man you gotta sell this, you gotta sell this, you gotta sell this.”

Big Ed

Today, El Borikua is his best seller amongst a product line that includes catchy names like Asiarican Dust, a blend of Southeast Asian flavors with Big Ed’s Latin American twist, a taco seasoning blend and something called Texas Creeper. I didn’t ask about the latter: It has flames shooting out of a skull so I steered clear.

edgardo rodriguez big ed spicy caballero seasonings
El Borikua is Ed’s top seller.

I love Ed. Genuine, nice, and humble, he’s equally excited as he is grateful for the momentum he’s seeing. An airline mechanic by day, he’s mixing seasonings by night. Connecting and building bridges by bringing the sabor of Puerto Rico to us one bottle of (holy s#*t good) seasoning at a time.

Related Post: Puerto Rican Celebrity Chef Wilo Benet’s Love for the Island Shows in This Video

Ed doesn’t have an e-commerce site yet so we’re lending him ours. If you want to buy from him, he’s giving us a 10% discount for a limited time, here at the Startup Cuba shop. The discount is automatically added at checkout.

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El Borikua seasoning by Big Ed / Spicy Caballero

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Ken Deckinger is the co-founder and CEO of Startup Cuba and the executive producer and host of its namesake docuseries. A native of South Florida, Ken has been an entrepreneur for his entire professional career. Previously he was co-founder and CEO of HurryDate, pioneering the global concept of speed dating to 45 cities throughout the US, UK and Canada. HurryDate eventually evolved into online dating and was acquired by Spark Networks, the parent company of ChristianMingle.com and JDate.com. Ken is a graduate of Boston College and the University of Florida, where he was honored with the University’s Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year Under 40 award and sits on the Board for the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He actively advises entrepreneurs and is a two-time protagonist of a Harvard Business School case study. Ken’s filmmaking and journalistic journey is inspired by a love of travel and authentic connections with other cultures. He believes that the more we know about each other, through stories, the closer we can become — thus the mission of Startup Cuba: to amplify the voices of the people sharing stories in the Latinx space. After living in New York City for 15 years, he encouraged his wife to move their family to Miami to get back to his South Florida roots. Needless to say, it was a short discussion and he and his family now call Boston, where his wife grew up, their home.

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